A curious press case in March 2005 got people talking about this small country pinched between Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania. The head of state's wounded pride put two journalists through an unhappy episode. Along with many other international media, the correspondent for the BBC and one working for Reuters reported comments made by the president's religious affairs advisor to the effect that the president had decided to move out of his official residence, because he heard "strange noises" and "felt a presence prowling around him" at night. The head of state had been "made to look ridiculous", the public ministry said. The journalists were arrested at dawn like bandits, thrown in prison for 24 hours and then charged. In a country that has not imprisoned a journalist since the end of the military regime of Kamuzu Banda, in 1994, this incident was surprising, not to say ridiculous.


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